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Healthy Skepticism Library item: 20488

Warning: This library includes all items relevant to health product marketing that we are aware of regardless of quality. Often we do not agree with all or part of the contents.

 

Publication type: news

Miller C
Doctors hit drug firms over ads
The Herald and Weeky Times 1990 Jan 31


Full text:

A doctors’ watchdog group today stepped up its campaign against companies which promote prescription drugs with alleged misleading or unjustified advertising.

The Medical Lobby for Appropriate Marketing has decided to attack 15 major drug companies which it alleges have not been able to support claims made in ads.

MLAM secretary Dr Peter Mansfield, based in Adelaide, said a new round of pressures would be directed at the international companies to start hitting at their profits.

“Some of the drug ads and marketing practices cannot be justified – it comes down to a matter of greed,” Dr Mansfield said. N

“Doctors will stop prescribing drugs of companies which are seen to be promoting drugs irresponsibly.

The medical media and notifying doctors of breaches in drug promotions are the best way to make these companies more responsible and responsive”.

Twelve of the 15 companies on Dr Mansfield’s “hit list” have parent companies or subsidiaries based in Australia.

Of the 26 drug companies which had received complaints from MLAM, only five showed any improvement in marketing practices, he said.

Dr Mansfield said MLAM had been so successful over the past six years in pressuring companies to stop misleading advertising, that doctors in or, Dr Mansfield’s “hit list” other countries approached him to set up international branches of MLAM.

MLAM has published many articles on misleading international drug promotions, including five in the influential medical journal. The Lancet.

The Australian Pharmaceutical Manufacturers’ Association, the umbrella group for pharmaceutical companies, said that MLAM was dealing with complaints from overseas which did not reflect on Australian practices.

 

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There is no sin in being wrong. The sin is in our unwillingness to examine our own beliefs, and in believing that our authorities cannot be wrong. Far from creating cynics, such a story is likely to foster a healthy and creative skepticism, which is something quite different from cynicism.”
- Neil Postman in The End of Education